Port Vale
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Port Vale Odds

Like all League Two sides, Port Vale odds are amongst the most popular of English football betting odds. League Two is well known for its unpredictabilities, with teams playing in this league just as capable as challenging for promotion one season and fighting against relegation the next. As such, Port Vale relegation odds are just as common to wager on as odds on Port Vale to get promoted.

It’s also common for bookmakers to offer special odds or money-back specials on certain Port Vale matches. For example, if Port Vale are to play in a title decider, or a relegation deciding clash, these matches can be subject to bookmaker enhanced odds, with Paddy Power being one of those bookmakers who offer enhanced odds on a regular basis.

It’s not just situations happening on the pitch that a bettor can wager on. Behind the scenes activities, such as transfer odds or Port Vale manager odds, are popular choices and provide extra opportunities to make profit when betting on football.

History

Port Vale are a professional football club located in Stoke-on-Trent, England. During Port Vale history, the club have never played in the top flight. Port Vale currently play in England’s fourth tier, the English Football League Two.

The history of Port Vale begins in 1876. After a meeting held at Port Vale House, Port Vale Football club were formed. Port Vale didn’t play league football during the early years of their history, instead taking part in various local cup competitions.

In 1884, the club moved from their Westport ground and went to Burslem. In light of this move, the club changed its name to Burslem Port Vale. For the 1888/1889 season, Burslem Port Vale played in The Combination League, and in 1890 joined the Midland Football League.

In 1892, Burslem Port Vale became founding members of the Football League Second Division. However, in 1907, the club were forced to resign from the Football League due to serious financial woes. Around this time, the club changed its name back to Port Vale, and the club joined the North Staffordshire Federation League.

Fortunately for Port Vale, their financial situation dramatically improved, and following another stadium move, this time to The Old Recreation Ground, the club in 1919 were given a spot in the Football League once more, taking the place of Leeds City who had dissolved to due to serious financial issues of their own.

Port Vale appeared to be making steady progress on their return to the Second Division, but following four consecutive top ten finishes the club finished 21st in the 1928/1929 season and suffered relegation to the Third Division North. Port Vale immediately bounced back, though, winning the Third Division title at the first time of asking, and returned to the second tier.

Following a series of inconsistent finishes, with the club finishing from 5th place to 20th place during their six years in the Second Division, the club were relegated once more during the 1935/1936 season. They returned to the Third Division North, and Port Vale remained in the third tier until 1954. During this time, the club moved stadium once more, making Vale Park their home in 1950, a stadium where the club play their home matches to this day.

During the 1953/1954 season, Port Vale won the Third Division North title for a second time. As well as their title win, Port Vale also embarked on their most successful FA Cup run, reaching the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in the club’s history.

The club’s time back in the Second Division was brief, and a 22nd place finish in the 1956/1957 season saw Port Vale demoted back to the third tier. The club spent one season in the Third Division South (because of Port Vale’s geographical location, the club had spent previous third tier seasons in both the Third Division North and the Third Division South) before becoming founder members of the Football League Fourth Division. The Third Divisions North and South had been reorganised into non-location related divisions, the Third Division and Fourth Division. Port Vale were given a Fourth Division spot rather than a Third Division spot because of their 15th place finish the season before.

Port Vale’s first season in the Fourth Division was a successful one. The club won the fourth tier title, scoring 110 goals in the process, and with it a place in the Football League Third Division. 

Port Vale were again inconsistent in their performances during their time in the Third Division. Finishing positions as high as three were combined with 13th and 14th place finishes, until the club were relegated in the 1964/1965 after finishing in 22nd position. 

In 1967, one of English football’s most famous sons Stanley Matthews took over as manager. However, Matthews’ tenure lasted for just one year, as Port Vale were expelled from the league over allegations of illegal payments to players. The club appealed the decision, and were re-elected to the Football League.

Port Vale earned promotion in the 1969/1970 season, and regained their Third Division spot. Again, the club’s inconsistencies from season to season were on show, with Port Vale finishing as high as sixth and as low as 20th during their time back in the third tier. Relegation hit the club once more in the 1977/1978 season, with a 21st place finish sealing Port Vale’s demotion.

The club struggled to adapt to life back in the Fourth division, with brushes with relegation occurring during their first three seasons back in the fourth tier. However, the club began to improve, and in the 1982/1983 campaign Port Vale were promoted again. Port Vale then began to yo-yo in and out of the English divisions, with an immediate relegation followed by a promotion two seasons later, and then a playoff victory in the 1988/1989 season sealing the club’s promotion back to the Second Division for the first time in over 30 years.

The club’s time back in the second tier was short, and the club were relegated in the 1991/1992 season. In time for the 1992/1993 season, the Premier League was introduced. This resulted in the Football League divisions being renamed - as such the Second Division became Division One, the Third Division, Division Two and the Fourth Division, Division Three. 

The 1992/1993 season saw Port Vale visit Wembley twice. Firstly, for the Football League Trophy (at that time called the Autoglass Trophy), which Port Vale won after defeating Stockport County in the Final, and then in the Division Two playoffs, where the club were beaten by West Bromwich Albion.

Port Vale didn’t have to wait long for promotion though. The following season, a second placed finish saw the club return to the country’s second tier, Division One. Port Vale spent the next six seasons in the second tier, with finishes as high as eighth and as low as 21st, before a 23rd place finish culminated in relegation back to Division Two.

The 2000/2001 season saw Port Vale win the Football League Trophy for the second time, beating Brentford at the Millennium Stadium. The following campaign, the club’s financial issues came to a head, and Port Vale went into administration. Valiant 2001 took control over the club before the season ended.

A new board took over and led the club out of administration during the 2003/2004 campaign. The following season, the Football League divisions were renamed once more, with Division One becoming the Championship, Division Two League One and Division Three League Two.

Port Vale remained in League One until the 2007/2008 season, when a 23rd place finish relegated the club back into the bottom tier, League Two. The club struggled initially in the fourth tier, but gradually began to improve. However, the club were hit with further financial troubles and entered administration once again.

Life improved for the club though, and the 2012/2013 season saw Port Vale promoted in third place. However, the club's time in League One was short-lived, and Port Vale suffered relegation back to League Two at the end of the 2016/2017 campaign.

Crest

A Port Vale crest was first used in 1956. This Port Vale football badge featured the borough of Burslem coat of arms that consisted of the Tunstall arms scythe, the cross of Audley and Josiah Wedgwood pots. 

In 1964, this Port Vale football crest was replaced by the initials PVFC embroidered on the Port Vale shirts. In 1981, these initials were removed and replaced by a badge featuring an oven and a Stafford knot, representing the area’s industry of pottery. 

The current Port Vale badge was first introduced in 2013. This badge takes inspiration from the original Port Vale football crest, with vases representing Wedgwood, a scythe, a cross and a Stafford know.

Colours

The standard Port Vale colours are white shirts worn with black shorts and black or white socks. However, in the early years of Port Vale kit history, the club wore a variety of different colours and styles for their kits.

The first Port Vale kit colours featured a red shirt, worn with dark grey shorts and dark grey socks. This kit was changed for the 1896/1897 season, when the team wore half black half amber shirts, with black shorts and black socks.

In 1898, the club colours changed once again. The Port Vale players wore red and white striped shirts, with dark blue shorts and dark blue socks. These kit colours were worn until 1902.

From 1902 to 1907, Port Vale colours changed to claret and blue. First featuring a half claret half blue shirt and then a claret and blue striped shirt, both styles of shirts were worn with white shorts and claret socks.

In 1912, the club colours changed to black. Black shirts featuring an amber ‘V’ shape were worn, along with black shorts and black socks with an amber trim.

White and black Port Vale kits were first introduced in 1919. From 1919 to 1923, the team wore white shirts, worn with black shorts and black socks with a white trim. This Port Vale kit changed to red shirts, white shorts and black socks until 1929, when the club returned to what has now become the traditional Port Vale kit colours of white and black.

Up until 1958, Port Vale wore white shirts, black shorts and a combination of black, white or black and white hooped socks. In 1958, the Port Vale colours completely changed once more, with the club returning to black and gold. From 1958 to 1963, the Port Vale kit consisted of black and gold striped shirts with black shorts and gold socks.

The club went back to their white and black colours, and these kit colours have lasted to this day. White shirts have always been worn since 1963, on occasion featuring a black or gold trim. For the majority of seasons since 1963, the Port Vale players have worn black shorts and black socks, though white shorts and white socks have also been worn.

For the 2018/2019 season, the Port Vale home kit colours were white shirts featuring vertical stripes, two black and one amber, with black shorts and black socks with an amber trim.

Port Vale Stadium

The current Port Vale stadium is Vale Park. Following a variety of stadium moves, the club moved into Vale Park in 1950, and have played their home games here since then.

The Port Vale stadium capacity currently stands at 19,052. The Port Vale stadium layout features four main all seater stands. These are the Lorne Street Stand, The Railway Paddock, The Bycars End and the Hamil Road End.

Port Vale played at a variety of stadiums before their move to Vale Park. These grounds included the Meadows, the Westport Meadows, the Burslem Football and Athletic Ground, the Athletic Ground and the Old Recreation Ground.

Supporters

The majority of Port Vale supporters hail from Stoke-on-Trent, in particular the Burslem and Tunstall areas. There are a variety of Port Vale supporters clubs across the country, including the official Port Vale Supporters Club

Port Vale supporters enjoy a rivalry with Stoke City, although the two clubs have rarely met in League football in recent years with Stoke City playing Premier League football.

Port Vale do have a number of ‘celebrity’ fans. Most notably, this list includes pop singer Robbie Williams, who became a shareholder of the club in 2006. Williams went on to form Los Angeles Vale, named after Port Vale, in the USA. Williams was also instrumental in the inclusion of Port Vale in the computer game FIFA 2000, where he allowed one of his songs to be used on the soundtrack to the game as long as Port Vale were included as a playable team.

Other fans include darts star Phil Taylor, author Bob Wilson and pop star Simon Webbe had trials at the club as a teenager.

Ownership

The Port Vale owner is Norman Smurthwaite. Smurthwaite was involved in the investment group that took over the club when Port Vale went into administration in 2012. 

Smurthwaite became sole owner of Port Vale when Paul Wildes sold his 50% share of Port Vale shares to him shortly after their takeover was complete.

Smurthwaite has on occasion been a controversial figure during his time as Port Vale owner and chairman. He has banned certain local newspapers from the club, and former Port Vale managers have questioned his abilities to run the club successfully. He has also upset a number of fans with his statements surrounding the potential appointment of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as manager, stating that certain fans would abuse a manager who was black, a claim strenuously denied by Port Vale supporters.

Smurthwaite has also allegedly forced players who are high on the list of Port Vale player wages out of the club, as to have a lower wage budget and cut costs.

Norman Smurthwaite has been looking to sell Port Vale, though no offer has been successful as of yet.

Stats

Port Vale stats begin with their all time leading appearance maker. That honour falls to Roy Sproson, who made 842 appearances for Port Vale from 1950 to 1972.

The club’s all time leading goalscorer is Wilf Kirkham. Kirkham scored 164 Port Vale goals between 1923 and 1933. Kirkham also holds the record for most goals scored in one season, after netting 41 times during the 1926/1927 campaign.

Port Vale’s record win occurred in 1932, when the club beat Chesterfield 9-1 in the Second Division. Vale’s record defeat also occurred in the Second Division, when Sheffield United defeated Vale 10-0 in 1892.

Gareth Ainsworth is the subject of both Port Vale’s record transfer fee paid and transfer fee received. Port Vale paid £500,000 for Ainsworth to Lincoln City in 1997, and a year later received a fee of £2 million for the player from Wimbledon.

Port Vale Players

The current Port Vale players list consists of 27 first team members, backed up by players from the Port Vale Academy. 

Notable ex Port Vale players include Bob Hazell, Tony Naylor, Ray Walker, Robin Van der Laan, Steve Guppy and Leon Constantine.

The most internationally capped Port Vale player is Chris Birchall. Birchall earned 24 caps for Trinidad and Tobago whilst playing his club football with Port Vale.

Port Vale Manager

The current Port Vale manager is Neil Aspin. Aspin took over in October 2017.

The longest serving Port Vale manager is John Rudge. Rudge took charge of 748 matches between 1983 and 1999. 

The man who has the highest win percentage in Port Vale manager history is Tom Morgan. Morgan won 55 of his 125 matches in charge over two spells from 1930 to 1932 and 1937 to 1938, giving him a win percentage of 44.0.

Honours

The Port Vale honours list consists of two Football League Trophies (1993, 2001); two third tier titles (1929/1930, 1953/1954); and one fourth tier title (1958/1959).

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